CLARKE COUNTY, Iowa -- The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association and Creston Water Works are working to repair a filtration leak that put thousands of Iowans on a nearly week-long boil alert.
"When you brush your teeth, you automatically want to turn on the sink to run water, and no, you can't do that," said Murray resident Sue Hamilton, whose water comes from Creston.
Hamilton is just one of the people now adapting to the boil advisory.
"I even washed a load of clothes last night, and I noticed the smell of the water so I added some bleach to the wash," she said.
“All the water out in there comes from the city of Creston and comes from the Creston Treatment Plant. And all of our water gets pumped into the different towers and flows out from there," said Dan McIntosh, SIRWA General Manager and Creston Water Works Treatment Plant Manager.
Officials worried the leak allowed bacteria and viruses into the water system, which affected tap water in more than a dozen counties. Repairs are now underway after a necessary membrane for the filter arrived in town on Wednesday morning.
Until it is fully fixed, volunteers at Murray Church of Christ are stepping into help, which is good news for people like Hamilton.
“I would be boiling a lot of water, and then what would you do because you take it to work," she said.
“Just helping out the community, like hanging out with the friends," volunteer Damien Kitner said.
SIRWA said once the filtration leak is repaired in Creston, people in the six other counties will reap the benefits.
“We've got the bottled water and stuff so it's not as hard, but it's still difficult," Kitner said.
Creston Water Works and SIRWA said the repairs in Creston should be complete early Thursday morning. However, the system will still need to be flushed, so some rural areas will likely be without fresh tap water until next week.